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Channel emerging from pandemic optimistic about its position and future

  • 5 mths ago

The channel is cautiously optimistic about the future and is continuing to transition to different delivery models, according to the latest survey of the indirect landscape from CompTIA.

The industry organisation’s ninth State of the channel report paints a picture of a market that is starting to look to life beyond Covid-19 and one that has, in many cases, been able to underline its value during the pandemic.

The organisation quizzed the channel across the globe, but specifically in the UK the responses indicated that not far off 100% of respondents said they felt the channel had maintained its relevance. Drilling down slightly deeper, there was a split, with 38% feeling that things were holding steady and 56% viewing the situation as rapidly changing.

Some of those changes are around the delivery model, with the channel continuing to move to the managed services model as well as a marked increase in those playing a role as consultants and influencing, rather than fulfilling deals. An awareness of the importance of consultancy skills was high on the list of UK channel leaders that contributed to the research.

Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis at CompTIA, said that, broadly, there had been three responses across the channel to the pandemic, with some firms choosing to double down on investments, others choosing to tread water and, unfortunately, others that succumbed to the pressure.

Managed service providers weathered the Covid storm well because they were able to react to customers that were forced to make their workforces operate from home and many already acted as IT departments for their SME users.

“One of the big positives from the study is that the vast majority of our respondents, and again this goes across all of those regions, feel that the channel is relevant,” said April.

That meant that those doomsayers who like to talk of the channel’s demise at the hands of cloud or evolving markets should finally put a sock in it.

“I’m sure you’ve been to a million events over the course of the last number of years where there’s always some keynote speaker who gets up and tells you that the channel’s demise is coming,” she said. “Well, I want to call BS on that, because it hasn’t happened yet and I’ve been around for a long time. What’s happened is the channel has changed, and it’s forced to change. Even during this horrific last 18 months, the respondents in this study still feel the channel is relevant.

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